Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything is Awesome

Everything IS awesome.  On Facebook.  I’ll admit, while I haven’t MISSED being on Facebook I have certainly fought off the urge (more than once) to jump on and see what I am missing.  

But then I think it would be like a drug, I’d get a taste and want more.  Then I would jump in both feet and I’d be back where I started or worse.

Honestly, true confession here.  Last night I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in 15 years. It was so wonderful to see her and to find a kindred spirit, a like-minded (and therefore funny, intelligent and generous of course) person.  In a random sort of paranoia, I thought “I wonder what she’ll say about our meeting on Facebook.” Because I can’t see I don’t know. 
And, creepily, I was far less concerned about what SHE would say, as I was the dozen or so other sorority sisters who would likely comment, and based on the level of negative Karma I have in my life.  No doubt it stems from what an awful person I was in college.  I can’t even begin to guess what they might say.   

Then again, they probably wouldn’t say anything at all.

I sort of liken the Facebook detox experience to smoking.  Granted, I’m not a smoker, nor have I ever been, unless you count that one time after college at the Blues Bouquet in Boise, Idaho (MOM ALERT - SKIP THE NEXT TWO PARAGRAPHS), a misadventure of epic proportions that resulted in a police officer waking me up as I “slept” in a heap of bar trolling clothing outside on a street bench, oblivious to the cold and the very real possibility that I could have been arrested (which the very kind officer warned me of as he attempted to rouse me).  

My friends were all tucked safely inside that smoky bar, unaware that not only had I disappeared after consuming the equivalent of a 12 pack of beer and two cigarettes for the first time (first time for cigarettes, certainly not the first time for the twelve pack), but that I had been gone for quite some time.  I made it to the bathroom and shared some of the beer with the toilet, found my friends, went home (somehow…) and never smoked again.

But I do know people who do smoke, or did, and anecdotally speaking I’ve heard that upon embarking on your personal smoking cessation program you suddenly become painfully unaware of the sheer number of smoking people around you, and, once you quit, how obnoxious that can truly be.

So as it is with Facebook, only it isn’t so much that it’s obnoxious, but I flat out SEE it everywhere.  At the froyo shop and giant sign says “Follow us on Facebook @froyoshop for special offers!”  

At bank, at the market, at the restaurant, you just can’t escape.  Is Facebook truly the only place to get this kind of information?  Clearly not, but we are led to believe that it is. 

I never truly noticed how pervasive this thing called Facebook has become in our global community. And again, it’s not that I think Facebook is bad, it’s just bad for me.

In my conversation with my friend last evening about Facebook (what does it say about our society that we were even HAVING a conversation about the ills of social media and it’s affect on us as humans?!) we talked about how, on Facebook, everything is awesome.  

On Facebook it appears that everyone has their shit together, their marriage or relationships are solid, their kids are angels (you can almost see their halos).   

No one gets angry, no one hurts, or is sad, or depressed or anxious.   

Everything is awesome.

It looks like we have it all: adoring husbands, perfect children, great careers, solid friendships with several people (thank you selfies), tons of free time and the ability to make Martha Stewart look like a chump with our amazing culinary creations and craftiness.

But do we have it all, really?  No, but we spend far too much time making it look like we do.  And for whom?  

 I’m willing to bet we’re trying only to convince ourselves.


Marcia Coffey Turnquist said...

Hi Amy,
I enjoyed your post and sense of humor. Since I'm fairly new to Facebook, I'll have to see what your continued reaction is and what happens when you go BACK to Facebook. Why are you doing that, by the way? No freedom forever????
P.S. thanks for buying The God of Sno Cone Blue :-)

Andrea said...

This reminds me of something I saw (on Facebook!) about why so many young people today are unhappy. I think that Facebook can be extremely dangerous - I know I have to be very careful about not getting my feelings hurt when people post about things that I wasn't included in. I haven't given it up - but I definitely don't check it nearly as often as I used to.